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Old 10-30-2005, 02:15 PM   #1
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Picking out bulk mushrooms

What should I look for in a good mushroom when picking though a big box of bulk mushrooms at the grocery store? I bought $1.50's worth of golden oyster mushrooms yesterday for a soup recipe and I just tried to get the ones that weren't soggy or ripped to shreds. They're kind of creeping me out right now because I found the tiniest of tiny worms on one of them and they smell earthy like the Moody Gardens rainforest pyramid if you've ever been there. How should I clean them before cooking?

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Old 10-30-2005, 03:25 PM   #2
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You can use a mushroom brush to clean off the peat moss, or just use a paper towel. Dont wash with water as they will absorb it. When you pick them out just make sure they are not slimy. If they are a white mushroom, make sure there is no discoloration.
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Old 10-30-2005, 06:29 PM   #3
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Mushrooms are supposed to smell earthy. Don't worry about the worm...that's just some extra protein.

When we have fresh morels, we soak them in salt water to get out all the varmints and then rinse them well. I guess it's because they have a different texture, but the water doesn't hurt them at all. I also bought some packaged creminis that said, "Wash before using".
I think if I were picking mushrooms from a box that everyone had been going through, handling the shrooms, I'd want to give them a brief rinse. I used to do that with the buttons before I knew better, and never had a problem. (They used to grow them in horse or cow manure...it seemed sensible to me.)
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Old 10-30-2005, 07:21 PM   #4
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What everyone else said - plus, oyster mushrooms are particularly 'fragrant'.
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Old 10-30-2005, 07:25 PM   #5
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Gills should not be showing because that indicates age. Alton Brown did a piece on washing mushrooms and found that they absorbed only a minimal amount of water.
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Old 10-30-2005, 08:46 PM   #6
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Yeah I remember that epsiode. I have no problems eating the worms though; we go fishing a lot and they have worms imbedded in their flesh sometimes.
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Old 10-30-2005, 11:22 PM   #7
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I guess everyone has pretty well covered the subject. Mushrooms are a fungus that grow on dead or dacaying matter (peat moss, leaves, wood, manure, etc.) Commercially grown mushrooms are grown on sterile matter ... so you don't have to worry - it's clean "stuff".

When buying mushrooms you want ones that are dry (not wet and slimey) and not discolored. They should smell earthy. Clean them before you cut them ... a brush, paper towel, kitchen towel, or a quick rinse in water - it doesn't matter. Yes, mushrooms will absorb a little moisture if you rinse them with water ... a very insignificant amount - mushrooms are already about 80-90% water. When you start to cook them the water comes out ... you'll never notice it.

Oh, Alton Brown's myth busting episode is, how can I say this .... a TV dramatization of a portion of Harold McGee's book, The Curious Cook.

As for giving them a rinse with water because other people have handled them ... if it makes you feel better then by all means do it. Washing them under running water will knock off some of the bacteria, and the clorine in the water will kill a few more ... but it won't kill any viruses. You'll actually kill the "bugs" when you cook them.

As for the worms .... I wouldn't worry about the ones crawling around on the mushrooms. That's fairly common to find in coastal locations like Galveston. I would be more concerned about the ones in the fish ... they are parasites.
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Old 02-13-2006, 11:18 AM   #8
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Lightbulb Greeting from Poland

If you want to buy dry mushrooms you can do it on page http://www.shop.royalpoland.com/ You betcha that mushrooms from that vendor are good to eat. I add also one recipe to encourage you to make taste clean mushroom soup (and buy mushrooms on site www.shop.royalpoland.com )

Clear mushroom soup

Ingredients:
5 dried mushrooms, (preferably 5 dag boletus), 1 big portion of soup vegetables,1 spoon of butter, 10 seeds of black pepper, 6 seeds of allspice, 2 bay leaves, 1-2 teaspoons of lemon juice, salt.

How to prepare:
Wash mushrooms carefully, put into cold water and boil until they are soft (30-40 minutes). Next, take them out of stock, cool and cut into thin stripes. Peel soup vegetables, wash and cut into stripes, fry on butter, pour 2 l of water, add bay leaves, pepper and allspice. Boil for about 30 minutes and then strain, add stock from mushrooms and boletus, season with lemon juice and salt. Serve with patties or toasts.
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Old 02-13-2006, 12:14 PM   #9
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Hi Undergrunge, welcome to DC!! Whoa, you are from Poland? My friend from Poland introduced me to Pychotka, it is so sinful and good!!
Do you happen to have an authentic recipe for pierogi?
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Old 02-14-2006, 05:55 PM   #10
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I can't cooking :P but I can ask my mother or grandmother to recipe for Pierogi. I like it very much, specially Pierogi with fruits for example with strawberry. Mmmmm If I will have a recipe I write that here.
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